Step By step A bit of A blur

Cre­ate re­al­is­tic soft back­drops by us­ing a depth map in com­bi­na­tion with the pow­er­ful lens blur fil­ter

Photo Plus - - Canon Skills -

01 Se­lect the Sub­ject

Grab the Quick Se­lec­tion tool and paint over the area you want to re­main sharp (Alt-paint to sub­tract if it goes wrong). Click the ‘Re­fine Edge’ but­ton. Paint along tricky edges like the hair to im­prove the se­lec­tion. Once done, choose Out­put to: Layer Mask and hit OK.

02 Pre­pare a gra­di­ent

Du­pli­cate the layer with Cmd/ctrl+j then Shift-click the layer mask thumb­nail on the lower layer to dis­able it. High­light the up­per layer thumb­nail and hit Cmd/ctrl+i to in­vert. Next, grab the Gra­di­ent tool and choose the ‘Fore­ground to Trans­par­ent’ pre­set in the tool op­tions.

03 Fol­low the Fall-off

Hit D and X to set colour to black. Choose the ‘Lin­ear Gra­di­ent’ style, then drag up from the bot­tom to add a gra­di­ent that runs through the scene in the di­rec­tion that nat­u­ral fall-off would oc­cur. When we ap­ply the fil­ter, black ar­eas will come out sharper, white softer.

04 add the blur

Dou­ble-click the im­age thumb­nail on the top layer. Go to Fil­ter>blur>lens Blur. Choose Source: Layer Mask, then in­crease Ra­dius to cre­ate the blur. Zoom in close and com­pare the noise in the sharp area with the soft ar­eas, use the Noise Amount slider to match it. Hit OK.

05 an­a­lyse the re­sults

Shift-click the mask thumb­nail to dis­able it. Check the re­sults; some of the chairs should be slightly sharper, so we’ll run the fil­ter again. Du­pli­cate the bot­tom layer with Cmd/ctrl+j, drag the copy to the top of the stack and Alt-drag the mask thumb­nail from the layer be­low.

06 tweak the depth map

High­light the mask thumb­nail. Grab the Brush tool, lower opac­ity to about 30%, then paint ar­eas with black (sharper) or white (softer). Alt-click the mask thumb­nail to tog­gle the mask view on or off. High­light the im­age thumb­nail and hit Cmd/ctrl+f to ap­ply the blur again.

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